Monday, 4 November 2013

Lesson idea: Rothko Weave

First of all we'd like to say a massive thanks to Mrs Jo Baker who got in touch with us over the summer to share her wonderful Rothko inspired weave project and has allowed us to share it with you here on the blog. We've mostly only taught at college level so it's always great to hear from teachers in schools and see the different way they do things! 

Rothko Inspired Weave Project
1. Students begin the project by researching the work of Artist Mark Rothko
2. They are then set a homework to do a landscape photography shoot! The focus of their shoot is to look for strips of horizontal colours within the landscape (if they can't take photographs they could always look for existing photographs at home! or you could provide some in class just in case!). The students need to bring a contact sheet of the whole shoot and select the 4 best images and print them a little bigger and bring those to the next lesson.
3. In class students work from the photographs to simplify the colours, first starting in colour pencil and then extended into watercolour with the two best compositions. 
4. They then gather scraps of material for homework in their chosen colours (you should also provide some in class!) Try and gather a range of interesting textures - fabric, crisp wrappers, carrier bags, threads, twigs, straws, etc! 
5. The students use a weave board made out of old mount card. Cut little v's in the top and bottom and wrap string around it in one long piece. There's a cool video tutorial - HERE
6. Students weave in a over and under on one line then under and over on the next - and then repeat! They need to pull the pieces of fabric down really tightly to make sure they get a nice strong piece of textile! 
7. Once they've filled the board they are done! They can turn over the weave, cut the string across the centre and secure each end - its a bit tricky so they will need to concentrate as the weave is unsupported until they've tied it all together! Once tied off they can use it in whatever way you want to develop it… 

As always let us know if you try this project - we reckon it's an ace way to combine art and textiles and we love coming up with ways to get students to appreciate a bit of Rothko! Enjoy! 
- Claire 
P.S all ideas, photographs and general awesomeness thanks to Mrs Jo Baker! Check out her Blog or start following her on Twitter!